Cathy Prazenica and her husband moved to the valley in 2014 from Long Beach, via Idaho and San Francisco. She joined the Friends of the Library in 2016, and quickly became an “essential worker” on the board. She has served as treasurer since 2017 and has made very good use of her years with Sprint, where she retired as manager for the California voice and data network, and as executive assistant for the Journal Broadcast Group in Idaho.
Her tenure as Friends treasurer is marked by many improvements in our financial policies and procedures.
Like Ellie, Cathy is happy to be back in an area with four seasons, and she enjoys being two hours from the Oregon coast and just minutes from theatres in both Medford and Ashland. She likes to exercise and keep fit, and also says that she and her husband share food as a hobby, “getting it, preparing it, eating it.” She describes her perfect summer day as “Early morning yoga and a vigorous walk; breakfast; lunch; dinner (did I mention we’re into food?) with family, following an afternoon of swimming and billiards; an evening of stargazing by the pool; sharing it all with Corky, my husband of 42 years.”
Interestingly, like Ellie, Cathy is currently reading The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes. Next up for her is The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff. She notes that since the pandemic, most of her reading is on her tablet, thanks to Library2Go through Jackson County Library Services.
Thanks for all that you bring to and do for the Friends, Cathy!
Ellie Anderson joined the JCLS staff as head of Ashland Library Adult Services in October.
Ellie grew up in Maui, Hawaii, received her BA in English and theater from Oberlin College, and her MLIS from Rutgers. Much of her library career has been in California, from Teen Services in South San Francisco to Children’s Services in San Mateo County, to Youth, Reference and Outreach Services Manager at Monterey Public Library.
After more than a decade in the San Francisco Bay area, she and her husband were both ready for life in a smaller community, especially one with Ashland’s cycle of seasons. She remembers that “ watching my little boys see snow fall for the first time and tulips peek out of the earth was delightful.”
AS a JCLS newbie, Ellie is “impressed by the caliber of the staff and how they prioritize working together and supporting each other. I’m also very pleased to be part of an organization with a strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. It takes work and intentionality to truly be a public institution that is open and welcoming to everyone in a community, even and especially marginalized populations, and JCLS is doing that work.”
Ellie is developing ways to make the library’s collection even more appealing and easy to use and to highlight smaller collection areas that can sometimes be overlooked. She is also looking forward to working with Adult Services staff to expand the variety of library programs and connections.
In addition to reading, Ellie enjoys baking and getting into nature, and calls herself “a middling but enthusiastic container gardener.” Right now, she is reading The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes, a novel based on the real-life Packhorse Librarians who brought reading material to people in remote areas of the Kentucky mountains during the Depression.
To celebrate National Library Week in April, the Friends surprised Ashland Library staff with Ashland Chamber of Commerce gift certificates that they can use at over forty local businesses. We were glad for a chance to say thank-you for the terrific job the whole staff has done in challenging circumstances the last year.